Specialized is another company with a reputation for high performance footwear and the S-Works represents its latest and greatest. Fit is subjective, but we found during our long-term review the S-Works suited our feet well; they weren’t too narrow or too wide, provided good arch support and enveloped our whole foot without any hot spots.
The BOA retention system also performed well offering small precise adjustment, while still giving a secure and locked in feel.
The sole was stiff enough for even the most powerful riders and featured a wide generous tread making them easy to walk in, but more importantly, safe if you miss a pedal.
A word of caution to cyclocross riders though; in extremely wet conditions the smooth lugs don’t offer much grip, as one colleague’s painful hip will attest to after slipping over in a race. They’re also not replaceable so can’t compete with the longevity of a shoe like the Sidi.
We really liked the S-Works’ BOA retention systemOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
However, we used the S-Works in some truly miserable conditions and were impressed by the toughness and durability of the outer. They also come with a matt finish which always seems to hold up well to rock strikes and inevitable crashes.
Overall the Specialized S-Works offered a great fit, with feathery weight and relative durability, although they’re not without their faults. Make the tread replaceable with better grip and we suspect they’d get close to a perfect score.